Hypericum. St. John's Wort

[A name of unknown meaning-]

Hypericum Calycinum. Large-Calyxed St. John's Wort

Bears a very large yellow flower, and its numerous stamens form a beautiful appearance; it creeps over the ground and prefers the shade of trees, which makes it a valuable ornament for -shrubberies; the foliage is broad, thick and shining. A native of Ireland. I imagine it to be sufficiently hardy to bear our climate, but do not know that it has been tried.

H. Androsaemum, Also Called Androsaemum Officinale

H. androsaemum, also called Androsaemum officinale, is a shrub about three or four feet high, flowers yellow, showy. The juice expressed from the foliage is claret colored. The leaves were formerly applied to fresh wounds, hence the French name, toute saine (all heal) from which it obtained its common English appellation Tutsan. Flowers in July. There are several wild species, one of which, H. perforatum, is a troublesome weed.

Iberis. Candy-Tuft

[Named from Iberia., the country now called Spain.]

The species are generally pretty plants, and some of them cultivated in gardens as hardy annuals, under the name of Candy-Tuft, - a name which was originally applied to the I. umbellata only, which was first discovered in Candia. All the species and varieties of the Candy-Tuft are very hardy, and easy to cultivate. The fall-sown seeds flower early, those sown in April, from July to September; and some of the species until the frost in October. All the varieties look best in beds, or masses.

Iberis Amara. White Candy-Tuft

Has numerous white flowers, in umbel-like clusters. A hardy annual, of no little beauty, from England, and worthy of cultivation. The seed should be sown early in April; height about one foot.

I. Coronaria. Rocket Candy-Tuft

This hardy annual is of considerable beauty, being very showy, with pure white flowers. The clusters or racemes are numerous and very large, being three or four inches long. At a distance, the fine flowers very much resemble the Double White Rocket. It blooms for several months during the summer. It well deserves a place in every flower-garden.

I. Odorata. Fragrant Candy-Tuft

Is white, the foliage delicate and pretty.

I. Umbellata. Purple Candy-Tuft

Is very showy and bright, particularly when the rays of the setting sun are on it. Independently of its own beauty, we always cultivate this flower for the sake of seeing the most beautiful color the vegetable kingdom offers; this is produced by placing the lighted end of a cigar under the petals, when their color instantaneously changes to a brilliant green; this alteration is produced with many other flowers, but in none have we witnessed a color at all approaching to this.

I. Sempervirens. Perennial Candy-Tuft

This plant is deserving a place in the garden; it is half shrubby at the base, with delicate linear evergreen foliage, covered with a profusion of its pure white blossoms in June and July. The stems are rather decumbent and spreading; about six or eight inches high. It is propagated by layers and cuttings. As it does not produce seeds, it is not inclined to make itself too common, like some plants; for, unless special spains are taken, it will not increase. It will require a little protection in the winter so as to have it come out in the spring, bright and green. I. Tenoreana is similar to this, and the two are much confused in collections.

Impatiens. Balsam

[A name given to these plants on account of the elastic force with which their capsules burst, and scatter their seeds upon the slightest touch]

Impatiens Balsamina. Garden Balsam

This is one of the most beautiful of popular annuals, forming a showy cone of finely variegated Carnation-like flowers. The prevailing colors of the petals are red and white, the former extending to every shade of purple, crimson, scarlet, rose, lilac, carnation or flesh color, and white; but some of the most superb sorts are elegantly spotted with white. The spotted varieties form a class by themselves, and are justly regarded as the most brilliant ornaments of the garden. There are the crimson, scarlet, rose, purple, and violet spotted; another class is striped after the manner of carnations with purple, crimson, rose, scarlet on pure white grounds, some with one color, others with two or more colors, some are curiously mottled and striped. The most improved varieties are very double, and styled Camellia-flowered by the French; some of the flowers are almost as perfect and as double as those of the Camellia, and nearly as regular in shape. The Germans call them Rose-flowered, as many of them approach the perfection of that flower in shape and fullness. There is a class of Dwarf Balsams, that do not grow over a foot high, but very full and bushy in habit; they do not produce flowers so double as the Camellia or rose-flowered varieties, but are desirable for the garden. They should not be planted with the tall varieties, which attain the height of two or three feet, when properly cultivated. The only way to propagate the Balsam, is from seed, which does not always produce kinds exactly the same as the parent, but approaches very near, when great care has been taken to keep the different varieties by themselves, as is now practiced by those who make a business of raising the seed. We procure the best seed from France, which, after many years' experience, I have found to produce flowers according to the label. The very double varieties produce seed very sparingly; sometimes, from a large plant, hardly a single capsule with perfect seed can be gathered. The seed of the Balsam will germinate when four or five years old, and perhaps when much older. Gardeners prefer old seed, believing that more double flowers can be raised from it. To have fine plants, the seed should be sown in the hot-bed in March. As soon as the plants are furnished with two to four leaves, they should be transplanted into small pots; and, if there is a good bottom heat, they will soon fill the pots with roots, when they should be shifted into those a size larger, and thus shifted from time to time into larger pots. By the first of June, they will generally begin to show the character of their flowers; the best being selected, they should be planted out in rich garden soil, in beds, or in the border, at least two feet apart. If the soil is rich and rather moist, the plants will attain a monstrous size, flowering from the middle of June to the middle of September. The Balsam is a general favorite for the number, beauty, and sweetness of its flowers, and the uprightness and transparency of its stem:-

"Balsam, with its shaft of amber" says the poet.

The Balsam is a native of the East. The Japanese are said to use the juice prepared with alum to dye their nails red. By cultivation this beautiful flower has been much enlarged, and the numerous varieties have been produced, which form a striking contrast with the very inferior single ones formerly seen in our gardens.

Mr. Martyn, in his edition of Miller's Dictionary, speaks of having seen one, "the stem of which was seven inches in circumference, and all the parts large in proportion, branched from top to bottom, loaded with its party-colcured flowers, and thus forming a most beautiful bush.". Loudon speaks of a gardener who, by transplanting only from three to four times from No. 48 pots to those of eight inches in diameter, produced Balsams four feet high, and fifteen feet in circumference, with strong thick stems, furnished with side branches from bottom to top, and these covered with large double flowers." This is a pretty large story, to those who have only seen the Balsam as it is generally cultivated, huddled together in a bunch without any space for enlargement. It must be remembered however, that in England they are raised in pots upon bottom heat, and cultivated with great care. I think, if Balsams can be started in February, and shifted from time to time into pots of the richest mould, then transplanted into the garden in equally rich soil by the middle of June, four feet apart, astonishing results would be attained even if not so extraordinary as those mentioned.